VAT Cut

Hungary to cut VAT on Restaurants and Basics

The Hungarian government has announced its plans to cut VAT on restaurants, café services, milk, eggs and poultry by 2017.

According to this recent proposal as from the 1st of January 2017, the VAT on food basics – milk, eggs and poultry will be cut from the current rate of 27% down to 5%. In addition to this the VAT on restaurant and café services will drop from 27% to 18% with plans to cut this further to 5% in 2018. This is a follow on from early cuts which brought the VAT on pork down from 27% to 5%.

Whilst this will bring a shortfall in revenue for the government they believe that it will have no operational deficit as this loss will be covered by higher expenditure and faster growth, with GDP expected to pick up to 3.1% next year from 2.5% expected this year.

There is also the potential that internet will also be cut from 27% to 18%.

Israel to cut VAT

Possible VAT cut in Israel

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has recently announced plans to reduce the current rate of VAT from 18% to 17% to help promote economic growth, following a higher than expected tax collection in recent months. Speaking earlier this month, Prime Minister Netanyahu is quoted as saying  “An economy burdened by high taxes doesn’t grow, so in order to encourage growth I have decided, with Finance Minister Kahlon, to cut taxes.” Continue Reading

Poland plan to cut VAT

Poland VAT cut

Today Poland’s ruling Civic Platform (PO) party announced plans to lower the VAT rate from 23% to 22% starting from the 1st of January 2016. The VAT rate was raised in 2011 to raise budget income during the financial crisis, when its GDP reached 10%, a rate of 3% or lower is required to stay in the Euro currency. However Poland fared well during the financial crisis being one of the only countries not to go into recession, and latest figures show that it could now reach the Euro currency figure comfortably, with the PO currently being pro-EU. This drop in VAT is expected to affect the budget as bringing it down by 1 percentage point will cost the budget an estimated 5 to 6 billion zlotys.

However nothing is yet set out as there will be a general election in October and the PO’s current strongest competition has not laid out any plans for a VAT cut but have proposed plans to stay out of the Euro zone.

Romania’s potential new reduced VAT rate & the success of the food VAT rate drops

Romania potential new reduced VAT rate & the success of the food VAT rate drops

Romania’s Lower House of Parliament has approved plans to introduce a new reduced rate of VAT to 5% for cultural services, lower value houses and printed media. The new 5% VAT rate would apply to books, newspapers, magazines, and tickets to museums, monuments, cultural events, cinemas and sporting events.

More approvals from the Upper House of Parliament still need to be received before this reduced VAT rate can be introduced.

Romania’s recent success

Romania has recently seen success in lowering the tax rate on food products by 15% (see previous eBiz Answers post). From this they have seen an increase of 17% in the number of products sold in the first 2 weeks, compared to figures from last year, with coffee seeing the biggest increase in sales, going up 25%. Overall sales were 12% higher than in May and 17% higher than June 2014.

Romania confirms 5% VAT rate cut

Romania confirms 5% VAT rate cut

The Romanian Government has now confirmed that the planned VAT rate cut is going ahead, a drop from 24% which is one of Europe’s highest to 19% which is one of the lowest. It has recently been uncertain as to whether the cuts would go ahead due to some political unrest when the opposition accused the Government of going in the wrong direction with the budget and calling for a re-election which would have put the VAT plans in jeopardy.

However earlier this month the Government confirmed the VAT cut was to be implemented by 1st January 2016, and at a greater rate than was expected. In February they announced a cut to 20%, this is based on a quicker than expected return to growth in the country.

Furthermore in addition to this they also confirmed that draft beer will drop from 24% to 9% following in line with the earlier cut to food products.

Yet with this measure potentially impacting the budget revenues by some EUR 2.6 billion both the EU and the IMF have expressed doubts over the sustainability of such deep tax cuts in Romania.